Pakistan Conducts Training Launch of Ballistic Missile Shaheen-II

Shaheen-II is capable of carrying both conventional, nuclear warheads up to range of 1,500 kilometers, says military

PKONWEB Report — Pakistan on Thursday conducted successful training launch of surface-to-surface ballistic missile Shaheen-II in the Arabian sea.

The tactical asset is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads up to a range of 1,500 kilometers (932 miles), the military said.

According to a senior defense expert in Pakistan, it’s a routine, training test flight by Army Strategic Force Command troops. “These are essential to maintain troops competency and validate the technical reliability of the missile systems,” said another senior defense expert on condition of anonymity.

“An expensive but essential cost of maintaining the deterrence,” he added.

The launch having its impact point in the Arabian Sea, was aimed at ensuring operational readiness of the army strategic forces command, Pakistan Army said in a statement– the launch was aimed at ensuring operational readiness of the Army Strategic Forces Command.

“Shaheen-II is a highly capable missile which fully meets Pakistan’s strategic needs towards maintenance of desired deterrence stability in the region”, the statement added.

Pakistan had notified its warring eastern neighbor India of the exercise according to an agreement between them.

The launch was witnessed by Director General Strategic Plans Division, Commander Army Strategic Forces Command, senior officers from the Army Strategic Forces Command, scientists and engineers of the strategic organisations.

President, Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister, Imran Khan, and the three Services Chiefs have congratulated the scientists and engineers on successful conduct of the training launch, it added.

The latest missile test follows heightened tensions between the arch rivals — Pakistan and India — which are locked in a string of sea and land disputes and have fought three wars and a three-week long skirmish since 1947.

Nuclear powers

ANADOLU AGENCY adds: Pakistan and India are among a small handful of countries with nuclear arsenals. India joined the nuclear club long before Pakistan, in 1974, prompting Islamabad to follow suit.

Pakistan silently developed its own nuclear capability in the 1980s, when it was an ally of the U.S. in the first Afghan war against the crumbling Soviet Union.

It did not conduct any nuclear tests until India carried out a series of its own tests in 1999. Only three weeks later, Pakistan conducted six successful tests in the remote Chaghi district near the Afghanistan-Iran border, stoking fears of a nuclear war between the longtime rivals.

According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India currently possesses between 80 and 100 nuclear warheads, while Pakistan holds between 90 and 110.